For the past seven years, the media has shown us a Syria where cities and landscapes are ruined. But, there was a Syria before this and this is the country Peter Lukas` pictures show in his exhibition in Larvik. We met with the photographer, Peter Lukas, who left the country the day before the civil war broke out.
By: Vibeke Hoem Photo: Peter Lukas
A Syria with everyday life, culture and playfulness
What does the pictures in the exhibition show?
– It’s a series of photos that show everyday life for the people of Aleppo, Damascus and Tartus. They show a Syria which no longer exists, a Syria with everyday life, culture and playfulness, religion and people. It is a time frame of a country now torn apart by war. The photo series is very relevant, and shows us a Syria at peace – the last weeks before the Civil War broke out.
Peter Lukas´ aim is to portrait the world as it is. He does not use any flash or zoom, and never modifies his motives. When you look at the pictures, you get the feeling that you are gazing at the situation as it was, and the pictures seem to portrait an authentic snap shot in time.
The exhibition is supported by Fritt Ord, Red Cross, University of Agder and Grimstad-, Hamar- and Gjøvik municipalities. You can see it from mid February to March 2019 at Bølgen Kulturhus, Larvik.
Want to contribute to a greater understanding and a more inclusive society
What do you wish to convey through the exhibition?
– I want as many as possible to get the opportunity to see these important pictures. The situation in Syria and the refugee disaster has brought strong images and portrayals in the media, often in highly tabloidised terms. Through the use of art as a medium, we can open up new perspectives, perspectives that can give us a deeper insight into – and understanding of the victims’ former homeland and everyday life. a daily life that is not so different from the one we lead, here in our free country.Art can contribute to reflection. It is subjective – both from the creators side and the recipients side. The spectator is given the opportunity to create his own interpretations and to draw his own conclusions.
The exhibition can help more people get to know the culture many victims of war – from Syria and other war-stricken countries – bring with them to Norway. The purpose of the exhibition is to create a greater understanding and a more inclusive society by putting Syria on the agenda. – Peter Lukas
Petter Lukas is not keen on making money on the exhibition, and donates all proceeds to A Drop in the Ocean´s work for people fleeing their home.
– The money will be donated to A Drop in the Ocean because you do such an important job for the refugees in Greece. I have a friend who has been a volunteer with you and I follow and read about your work on the Facebook page and on the website. You are doing an important job that I wish to support, concludes Petter Lukas.